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Author Topic: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11  (Read 3277 times)

veggiewolf

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FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« on: October 18, 2011, 12:19:16 pm »
Welcome to the Discussion of the Week for October 18th through 24th, 2011!

Topic: Faith in Humanity

Background reading: Faith in Humanity; Keeping the Faith

Questions: Do you have faith in other people? What does that mean to you?

Are you someone in whom other people can have faith? Why or why not?

What does believing in humanity mean to you? Is it meaningful? Scary? Empowering?
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veggiewolf

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2011, 09:26:59 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;26188
...

Questions: Do you have faith in other people? What does that mean to you?


I do not, in general, have faith in other people.  For me, this is the hardest part of FlameKeeping - while I do give people the benefit of the doubt initially, it takes a lot of time for someone to earn my trust.  Unfortunately, I tend to look at humanity as being on its way to fail-state (if it isn't there already).

Quote
Are you someone in whom other people can have faith? Why or why not?


I think that I am, although I'm sure someone out there disagrees with me! ;)  I am honest but (usually) not hurtful, and I genuinely want good for others.  I try to keep ma'at in all I do, with mixed results, but I am human, after all.  

Quote
What does believing in humanity mean to you? Is it meaningful? Scary? Empowering?

 
It means trusting that those around you want the best for everyone, and that they are making decisions from that place.  I'm not there yet, but hope to get there someday.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Ana

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2011, 12:41:59 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;26188

Questions: Do you have faith in other people? What does that mean to you?


I think I used to more than I do now.  I think individuals have the capacity for it, but I think that people have grown so much more cynical and out for themselves because generosity and good acts simply aren't rewarded.  The quote "no good act goes unpunished" comes to mind.

Quote

Are you someone in whom other people can have faith? Why or why not?


I try to be.  I know that I generally try to do the right thing, and that I feel as if honor and honesty are important to me.  I'm not saying I'll never lie, but I don't lie to people that I truly respect, and I try to treat everyone with respect as best as I can. I may not believe truly in the "Do no harm" rede, as I'm not Wiccan, but at the same time I think I'd probably alter it so as to read "Do no harm unless absolutely necessary."  I mess up, but I do think I'm a good person, and I have faith in my values to support that.

Quote
What does believing in humanity mean to you? Is it meaningful? Scary? Empowering?


I would like to have more faith in humanity.  Unfortunately when I look around I see a lot of people giving in to belief systems that seem to work against humanity and embracing the individual qualities that we all have that can make us stronger if we let them, and working to divide us into sects, each striving for more power over the other.  I see people who want to cheat where they want to and lie when they feel like it in order to get a better piece of something for themselves, whether it be money, time, power, fame... anything.  I see our culture idolizing the scandals and having cult followings of idiocy.  I think that to me, having faith in -that- kind of humanity is scary.  I wish we had better role models for our children than there are.  I know that individually everyone probably has a capacity, at least in some part, to be a good role model.  I have faith in individuals on the whole, but I think humanity has lost the desire to help each other unless they're getting something out of it, whether it be praise for good works or salvation in the afterlife.  I think if I -did- have faith in humanity being good, it would be an empowering thing.  I just don't see it.  I think the humanity we have now is not the humanity that used to be.  Humanity now is more corrupt.  It's tainted.

Devo

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2011, 01:16:35 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;26188

Questions: Do you have faith in other people? What does that mean to you?


My faith in people comes and goes. I know that deep down we are capable of so much more and when I see how we are squandering our potential, it makes me sad and I lose faith. But then I catch a glimpse of our possibility, of someone doing something right and I’m back for another round. I suppose this means that I must keep trying to keep faith, and to help others have faith in humanity as well. Because if we don’t fix it, who will?

Quote
Are you someone in whom other people can have faith? Why or why not?


I believe so. I am reliable. I am faithful. I am a rock. I think steadiness and predictability can lead to faith- you can have faith that I will follow through, for example. I do what I say I’m going to do. Because of these traits, I lean towards yes.

Quote
What does believing in humanity mean to you? Is it meaningful? Scary? Empowering?


I’m not really sure. I mean, I’m going to do what I’m going to do (save the world) regardless of what my fellow human beings are doing. However, when I look at the world beyond, sometimes believing in humanity is empowering (look as us all kicking ass!) or it’s depressing (look at you all sucking ass!). I know it’s something that I need to keep in mind, though it can be hard some days.

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HeartShadow

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2011, 12:57:13 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;26188
Welcome to the Discussion of the Week for October 18th through 24th, 2011!

Topic: Faith in Humanity

Background reading: Faith in Humanity; Keeping the Faith

Questions: Do you have faith in other people? What does that mean to you?

Are you someone in whom other people can have faith? Why or why not?

What does believing in humanity mean to you? Is it meaningful? Scary? Empowering?

 
I think that we tend to see the worst in each other and think of it as the norm - we look at the fact that people still get murdered and don't notice that the percentages are incredibly lower than they used to be.  That our acceptance of abuse has gone down considerably.  Our moral standards have changed for the better, but that makes the bad things stand out so much more.

I think that individuals can be trusted.  Groups - groups are harder.  It's easy to hide in a group, even from oneself.  Responsibility and shame are powerful things, and being one anonymous number lets a lot of those go - even when we want to be responsible.

I do think humanity is worth believing in.  I also think it's worth making people FEEL believed in - knowing that you're the Eyes and Hands changes things from waiting for someone/thing ELSE to come and fix things?

Ana

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2011, 06:08:46 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;27065


I do think humanity is worth believing in.  I also think it's worth making people FEEL believed in - knowing that you're the Eyes and Hands changes things from waiting for someone/thing ELSE to come and fix things?

 
I think part of this comes into play right now with Halloween coming up and kids going to go out Trick-or-Treating.  I don't know about you, but while I feel sad that I can't bake cookies for the kids in my neighborhood and have other parents know that I wouldn't try to drug or poison them, I also don't feel like I can take that risk with my children if they were to get some sort of home-made gift for Halloween from someone that I don't know.  That's the sort of thing that it makes me think about.

And today I learned that my husband's second cousin needed a place to go.  While I've always liked the girl, we haven't really ever been exceptionally close because they live so far away.  But even though we don't really have anything extra, I know that we have a safe place, and I offered her a place to live basically until she finishes high school and college.  To me, it felt like it was the right thing to do.  Whether she takes up the offer or not is up to her.  She's 18, and she has that right to choose what she wants to do with her life.  But if I did not offer her, I would not have felt right with myself.  I don't know how much faith I have in humanity because while I'm willing to do that, I just don't know how many people would.  We would be making things "harder" on ourselves to help someone.  I could have simply waited to see who else would help her out.  Someone already is, really, but it's not family.

I still have that nagging feeling of "no good deed goes unpunished" but it was still something I had to do.  Maybe I haven't lost all of my cynicism.

HeartShadow

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2011, 06:36:00 pm »
Quote from: Ana;27112


 
That's where, IMO, we run into the problem of depersonalization.  If everyone's responsible a little, no one's *really* responsible.  It can always be dumped on someone else.  And all it takes is *one* person that can't be trusted to make people wary about everyone - because you don't know who that one person IS.  It's not like we can say "and don't go to Fred's house 'cause he hates kids" and be done with it - because we don't know who if anyone is the nut.

Ana

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2011, 08:48:24 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;27117
because we don't know who if anyone is the nut.

 
Exactly!  It's too great a risk to have faith in "humanity" because we're afraid of what can happen when it fails.

HeartShadow

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2011, 07:08:39 am »
Quote from: Ana;27129
Exactly!  It's too great a risk to have faith in "humanity" because we're afraid of what can happen when it fails.

 
But at the same time, "humanity" is just a lot of individuals - and if each person FEELS the need to step up and be worthy of that faith .......

well, it's a dream, but it's a GOOD dream. :)

veggiewolf

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2011, 08:11:22 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;27180
But at the same time, "humanity" is just a lot of individuals - and if each person FEELS the need to step up and be worthy of that faith .......

well, it's a dream, but it's a GOOD dream. :)


I actually think that this is why I get stuck and can have faith in individuals but not faith in humanity - the majority of humanity that I've met does *not* feel the need to step up and be worthy.

Ugh.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

HeartShadow

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2011, 08:42:21 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;27188
I actually think that this is why I get stuck and can have faith in individuals but not faith in humanity - the majority of humanity that I've met does *not* feel the need to step up and be worthy.

Ugh.

 
...faith in humanity isn't a passive thing.  it's a DEMAND.

Juni

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2011, 04:13:05 pm »
I guess it's time I start chiming in on these, hmm?

Quote from: veggiewolf;26188
Do you have faith in other people? What does that mean to you?


I do have faith in other people- all of my friends, most of my family. I try my best to give strangers the benefit of the doubt.

To me, having faith in someone means that I believe that said person is, at heart, a good person, and will not intentionally set out to harm others; that if they learn they have harmed others, they will feel remorse and make some effort to apologize/set things right; that if they discover themselves to be in the wrong, will be decent enough to admit it.

Quote from: veggiewolf;26188
Are you someone in whom other people can have faith?


I certainly try!

Quote from: veggiewolf;26188
What does believing in humanity mean to you? Is it meaningful? Scary? Empowering?


Believing in humanity is, to me, an effort in futility, a delusion of the overly optimistic. Humanity is too large a group; an individual can be a person of character, but the larger the group, the less willing any one person will be to treat others with decency and take responsibility for wrongdoing. The blame, and attached reparation, gets passed around like a game of hot potato.

I can believe in the individual; I can believe in the group of individuals who make an effort to be accountable (though I admit that is not my first instinct when it comes to groups); I cannot bring myself to believe in the mass that is humanity, no matter how much I try.
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Ana

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2011, 07:54:42 am »
Quote from: Juni;27260
I cannot bring myself to believe in the mass that is humanity, no matter how much I try.

 
My husband and I have even been discussing this this past week, and maybe because we've been discussing it here and I've been thinking about it, but I keep getting examples thrown in my face this week of why I can't have faith in humanity.  My husband usually tells me that it's not worth it.  He has no faith in humanity.  Individuals, sure, but not humanity.  I want to believe in humanity.  I really really do.  But no matter how hard I try, it always seems to come back to bite me in the ass.  I'm at the point that I actually wish I -could- give up on it.  I know I won't, unfortunately, because that's who I am.  But I also think I'm going to just end up being disappointed again and again.

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2011, 08:15:55 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;27191
...faith in humanity isn't a passive thing.  it's a DEMAND.

 
Can you expand on this some?

HeartShadow

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Re: FlameKeeping Discussion of the Week - 18Oct11 through 24Oct11
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2011, 09:33:14 am »
Quote from: FierFlye;27406
Can you expand on this some?

 
When we have faith in something, we're saying we trust it/them/whatever.  Faith in God, faith in humanity, faith in a higher power - faith in physics, hell.  It's a belief that we WILL NOT be let down.  But it's also a demand (well, not with physics!) that we BE not let down.  It's not passive belief - it's active.  It's a statement of reciprocity and of need.  I have faith in you - means you'd damn well better NOT let me down.  It's more than trust, more than belief.  It's a demand.

If we all have faith in humanity - we DEMAND that we live up to it as well.

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